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Old September 16th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #1
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Great Crested Grebes - courtship display

Hi all,

Got this in one session last week. (sometime you get lucky....)
Sony PMW EX3, Flash XDR, Nikon 600mm f5.6 ED manual focus via Mike Tapa's adaptor, Solo CF tripod and Miller Arrow 25 fluid head.
1080 25p, 1/50, -3 gain, captured to the Flash XDR in 100 Mb/s.


Editing is not great I know...)-:

Video Gallery

Any comments are greatly appreciated,

Cheers,
Ofer Levy Photography
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Old September 16th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #2
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This is the early contact head waving. It would be nice to see the later 'dancing' display where the grebes 'walk' high on the water, often holding plants/weed debris from their beaks (although probably too late in the season for it).

The slow follow was nice and smooth (with balloon technique?).

It is nice to see that you were using one of my favourite lenses - the Nikkor 600mm f/5.6 EDIF.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 09:00 AM   #3
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Beautiful work Ofer. If you think your editing is bad you should see mine :(
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Old September 16th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick View Post
This is the early contact head waving. It would be nice to see the later 'dancing' display where the grebes 'walk' high on the water, often holding plants/weed debris from their beaks (although probably too late in the season for it).

The slow follow was nice and smooth (with balloon technique?).

It is nice to see that you were using one of my favourite lenses - the Nikkor 600mm f/5.6 EDIF.
Thanks for your comments guys!
Tony, Thanks for your comment and excellent info. I have only seen them in the last few weeks for the first time so wasn't sure about the rest of the display. I hope you are wrong regarding being too late for it - keep in mind this was taken in Sydney only last week...(-:
Cheers,
Ofer
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Old September 16th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #5
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Oh, sorry Ofer, I didn't realise that you were in Oz! :)

In that case, with opposite seasons and that seeing they are the European Great Crested grebes and the necks are turning more rufus and darker crest, then you probably will be lucky enough to witness the full-on display later this spring. The female is the slightly smaller bird. They are monogamous and both parents rear the young (the chicks also often ride on the parents back - a wonderful site to video!).

I'm looking forward to viewing your later video clips if you manage to capture the wonderful 'dance' display.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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Ofer, got a quick question about your tripod head. The Miller Arrow 55 according to the spec sheet has a minimum counterbalance setting of 10kg, so how do you use it with the EX3 which even with long lenses must come well under that? Does it not spring back to center?
The reason I ask is that I just looked at a Miller DS60, which has minimum counterbalance of 15kg and sure enough when I put my Varicam and 150-600 lens the counterbalance was way too strong and you had to fight to tilt up or down. Eventually I stacked on 4 batteries and mounted my 9kg O'Connor 2060 head on a plate next to the camera to get it upto the right weight (see pic)!
Steve
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Old September 16th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #7
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Ofer, got a quick question about your tripod head. The Miller Arrow 55 according to the spec sheet has a minimum counterbalance setting of 10kg, so how do you use it with the EX3 which even with long lenses must come well under that? Does it not spring back to center?
The reason I ask is that I just looked at a Miller DS60, which has minimum counterbalance of 15kg and sure enough when I put my Varicam and 150-600 lens the counterbalance was way too strong and you had to fight to tilt up or down. Eventually I stacked on 4 batteries and mounted my 9kg O'Connor 2060 head on a plate next to the camera to get it upto the right weight (see pic)!
Steve
Hi Steve, your gear looks like it is designed to fight Al-Qaeda rather then shoot wildlife....(-:
Seriously, the Arrow 25 (not 55) is meant to deal with 3.5-14 Kg so I don't have any issues with it.
Cheers,
Ofer
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Old September 16th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #8
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Ahhh right! Didn't realsise they had quite such a big range. So it seems like all the Arrows are similar size and weight but with different strength springs?
But no lighter springed DS60 it seems. This is what I had to do with the Phantom to get it balance - that block battery weighs 9kg!
Steve
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Old September 17th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #9
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Jeez! Steve, I'm glad I'm not lugging that counter-balance through jungles and over mountains! :)
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Old September 17th, 2009, 07:57 AM   #10
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Yes that's the Miller DS60 firmly off the list - its weight of 6.5kg is not too bad, but the neccessity to carry a 10kg barbell weight to get the camera rig into counterbalance range is a bit too much!
Steve
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Old September 17th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #11
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Yes that's the Miller DS60 firmly off the list - its weight of 6.5kg is not too bad, but the neccessity to carry a 10kg barbell weight to get the camera rig into counterbalance range is a bit too much!
Steve
LOL! You could always hire a Sherpa. :)
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